Sunday, April 30, 2017

Bread and Butter

Thankful that April came this way and brought with it art and advise, introspection and practice, consciousness and truth, laughter and melody, dancing and tears, allergies and homecomings, farewells and airport runs, game nights, picnics, choreography, growth and wounds, happy hours and Sunday school, healing and connection, anxiety and will-power, calmness and strength, sad news and autographed books, hard questions with answers that finally came, mentorships and referrals, help and health, lessons and teachers, contentment and longing, service and contribution, insecurities and acceptance, 5K races, and five year anniversaries.

Thankful for wealth (without a dime) of experiences, for resource of people, for soundness of mind and body, and beauty in the ordinary everyday life.

Namaste, and welcome May!

Heard Them Say

"Wisdom is tolerance of cognitive dissonance" - Robert Thurman

I heard that quote today, while listening to Adam Robinson, Joshua Waitzkin and Ramit Sethi on Tim Ferriss' podcast. The conversations from this episode, Becoming the Best Version of You left my mind exploring fresh perspectives as I listened to these four brilliant men chat in a Q & A session. As with Ferriss type interviews, the questions get personal, deep and easily go 'off-course' and back in a sort of ramble - and that meta-banter, by the way, I find is usually precious. Case in point, one of the times when the discussion would veered off-course, one of the men talked about how authenticity was the most important thing for him, or another time, one talked about timing, and his 30 year-old being ready to finally accept or integrate truths he had stumbled on and ignored in the past. "Things just changed, and by the time I was 30, I was ready for it... I don’t think it's the right time in my life. As I get older, I will become more ..." The sidebars were about business, and spirituality, love, and authenticity, and so much more.


In this phase of my life where the slightest mention of "conscious" pricks up my ears, this episode was in many ways like a cool drink of water for my thirsty soul. Some parts of the conversations resonated with me, many parts I heard for the first time, and at the show's end, I was researching topics for myself. That for me is the beauty and power of questions, and when it's done right, like Ferriss does really well, it's valuable to the questioner, panel/interviewee, and the participant if only an active listener. Everybody wins.

This one plus hour long discussion touched on a number of topics, and I recommend giving it a listen. Some thoughts that stood out for me touched on:

- Competing from the inside out

- Evolving from fighter to nurturer (I love this so much!)

- Some advice you think the happiest version of your 80 year-old self would give you now

- Rumi

- Programmatic nature of humans

- Authenticity

- Being at your best when opponents were at their worst

- Optimizing the basics, as opposed to majoring in the minors of life

Rumi quotes from Google Search


My post-podcast quest for enlightenment got me thinking and trying to define Character for myselfwhich eventually led me to the gem in this Art of Manliness entry: What Is Character? Its 3 True Qualities and How to Develop It. There are certain wavelengths of consciousness that one gets exposed to and is unable to retreat because the impact is indisputable. Like they say, once you know, you know, and there's no going back to blissful ignorance. Or as Alice Hoffman puts it, “once you know some things, you can't unknow them. It's a burden that can never be given away.” Yes indeed, a burden like an inconvenient truth that sets a fire in your stomach, and the workaround really is to light a torch and do right.



Having said all that, remind me to be on the lookout for Sebastian Junger's documentaries.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Quotes: Mark Twain

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not absence of fear.” - Mark Twain
And as C. S. Lewis puts it, this "courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.”

User feedback: Amazon

Amazon.com must have rolled out this feature today, because I bought a book yesterday and this definitely wasn't displayed anywhere on the web page. Or was it there and I didn't notice?

Newly added feature prompts users to add items to registry for wedding or baby

Amazon, We the Users say thanks o, for the largeness of heart. Weaving the need to populate a wedding or baby registry into the platform's feature is considerate for some users, maybe even preemptive for others. However, give the control back to users, especially so they have the option of disabling the feature, if it doesn't suit - lifestyle or layout preferences.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Breezy like Sunday evening



With the storms passed, and milestones reached, the release and the gratitude come rolling in. Smiling through the tears, the heart and soul break into song: at your best, you are Love.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

N.E.R.D

AskMen Interview with Pharrell Williams


Here and now, thoughts of my dad's words, personality, and ideals are actively on my mind. And even though I thought I'd forgotten parts of my childhood, I realized that I've designed my bathroom tiles with coins, just like he had done with his, before I was even five.

No one ever really dies. In essence, personal identity is not bound by one's body alone, but also by their values, ideas, and character even, which go on to outlive the bodies that temporarily "house" them.

Amen.

Questions Come to You

"Is God a separate personality from the human experience?"

When he was alive, pantheist dad would say time and again, "God is man to man."
Or "man is God to man," wasn't it?
This time, theist daughter considers the gravity in these words, because this is true of her experience:
the blurred lines between divinity and humanity.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"Chemical missbalance"

Is it not amazing how hearing those simple words, "I Miss You" could change your state of mind in an instant, and put the strength of the recovery you claim to test?

Ah! Hormones.

So what was the verdict? Did she progress or is she standing still? Because either way, she is a-okay.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Signal-to-Noise

At some point in life, quotes go from simply having intellectual value - mere wisecracks, quips with a nice ring, to being what you know to be Truth - your truth that echoes your human experience. Just like the fountain of honey oozing out of this here beehive, dripping down the sides of my mouth, my soul, and running down my elbows:

"Whatever is rejected from the self, appears in the world as an event.”  – Carl Gustav Jung.

This Jung quote posits that whatever you can’t resolve must repeat itself. It's a prompting to do work: take the time, hold a candle to your soul, let down your guard, and do that work. Take the tautology for double emphasis. Especially now, with the rise of attention merchants scrambling for headspace, now when "mindshare" is a valuable resource, filter out the unwanted signals and tune in to the frequency of your own higher calling.

Monday Night Soul Food

That I feed the beggar – that I forgive an insult – that I love my enemy in the name of Christ – all these are undoubtedly great virtues. What I do unto the least of my brethren that I do unto Christ. But what if I should discover that the least amongst them all – the poorest of all beggars – the most impudent of all offenders – yea the very fiend himself – that these are within me? And that I myself stand in need of the arms of my own kindness. That I myself am the enemy that must be loved. What then?  

Then, as a rule, the whole truth of Christianity is reversed. There is then no more talk of love and long suffering. We say to the brother within us: "Raca," and condemn and rage against ourselves. We hide him from the world. We deny ever having met this least among the lowly in ourselves. And had it been God himself who drew near to us in this despicable form, we should have denied him a thousand times before a single cock had crowed.
- Carl Jung, in Memories, Dreams, Reflections.

I can confidently call this church. Amen.

Quotes: Alan Watts

"Manure is contributive to the perfume of the rose"  - Alan Watts, on Carl Jung.

#NationalHaikuPoetryDay

Get home from work
Pour self a drink
Pour self back into work

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

mis-hype-ship

Let the newbies know not to believe the hype. Let them know early on that there's no such thing as a perfect life. Neither is there any fanciness about getting work done. Be the one to tell them to curb those parts of their enthusiasm.

Hump Days, Cycles and a New York minute

After a flowery three months of hosting, one must get used to solo living all over again. Or not.

Spring is here, and spring is blazing hot! We've gone from heating to air conditioning, and I ain't complaining.

Last thing I read in the news: New York state governor signed tuition-free college for middle class families into law. And New York state's Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam was found dead today in the Hudson River.

Wait, how often do I touch on New York in my posts? Is this becoming a thing?

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Useless Virtue

Useless virtue
If you follow(ed) Maya Angelou's work, you might recall her use of those words in an interview (linked below) where she said, "... try to live your life in a way that you will not regret, years of useless virtue and inertia and timidity." 

Useless virtue
If this oxymoron conjured an image of a vicious Sisyphean cycle, then you are in good company. One would reckon that the use of these two words in stark juxtaposition must be the point that Maya tries to make. Let's use the resources that we are and have been given to fulfill our [souls'] purpose.

Just Do Right - Dr. Maya Angelou (YouTube)

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Amendments

Last night, I saw the documentary "13th" on Netflix, (thanks to the recommendations embedded with machine learning), and then today I read in the news that New York City will close the Rikers Island jail facility.

Ava DuVernay is doing remarkable, courageous, progressive and important work that humanizes pressing (and maybe even suppressed, repressed) social and economic issues, which might in context be a US issue, however, one comes away with a changed perspective about the human nature. Seeing the documentary will leave the viewer with a strong awakening, a burden, and dozens, if not hundreds, of search engine queries over the next 24 hours. DuVernay's body of work presents a wide array of information - people, policies, history, systems, that some would hear about for the first time. As it shifts mental paradigms, it will color thoughts, texts and conversations, and leave the owner of this newly gained insight with a responsibility to keep wake, stay curious and relentlessly do their own work.

Also timely is the Kalief Browder story currently airing in a docuseries on Spike TV. Finding out that Jay Z is one of the film's executive producers should spark ideas around conscious capitalism, and rekindle the conversation on putting one's money where one's heart is. Where is your heart? Of all social issues that face us, what burdens/bothers you the most? How do you respond?